Often mistaken for beetles, these wingless crustaceans live their whole lives on land, feeding on decaying organic matter.
- Easy to maintain in the laboratory or classroom
- Do not bite or sting
- Pill and Sow Bugs are crustaceans
- Demonstrate differences in defensive behaviors between the two specimens
Pill Bugs (Armadillium vulgare) roll themselves into a ball if agitated.
Sow Bugs (Oniscus asellus) can be identified by their posterior "tail like" appendages, and will play dead when agitated. They are unable to roll into a ball.
Both are easy to maintain in the laboratory or classroom. They prefer dark, damp locations such as under logs, leaves or rocks, and are most active at night. They are detritivores, and feed mostly on decaying organic matter.
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